The 4 Disciplines of Execution Book Summary

“The 4 Disciplines Of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals” is written by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling. This book helped many organizations, teams to execute their strategies successfully. So, let’s start the 4 disciplines of execution summary.

Introduction to The 4 Disciplines Of Execution Summary

To achieve any goal we need a good strategy as well as good execution. Many people are good at making a plan but fail to execute it. Thus they fail. The 4 Disciplines of execution are simple and proven disciplines which will help you to execute your strategies successfully.

The 4 disciplines of execution can be applied to organizations, companies, teams as well as your personal life. However, in this summary, I will focus on personal life only.

Discipline 1: Focus On Wildly Important Goals (WIG)

Discipline 1 is the discipline of focus. We are very busy facing the daily whirlwind. Your daily whirlwind includes all the activities that are necessary to sustain your day to day business.

Focussing on WIG means narrowing the no. of goals you are attempting to achieve beyond day to day demands of your whirlwind. When you choose the most important task, it will make a significant difference in your personal life or business.

A great example of focused deep work is Steve Job‘s apple company. He could bring out many products than he did, but he chose to focus on a handful of wildly important products. And so were his results.

How to Choose Your WIG

While choosing your wildly important goal, don’t ask what is important? Because there are many important things in your life.

WIG is different from just important goals. Ask yourself, If I put all the current activities as it is, what will that one thing which will improve my life?

You might know the 80/20 rule. 20% of actions bring 80% results. So your WIG should be from that 20% activities.

While choosing your wildly important goals, you should remember following three things

1) Choose only one or two WIG:– When you choose more than two WIG, It may be overwhelming. And it’s easy to lose focus in the daily whirlwind.

2) Set small battles:– WIG is like a war and to win the war you must win the battles. Set the small activities which ensure the success of the WIG.

3) WIG should be in the form of X to Y by When:– Your wildly important goal must have a finish line. This will create more clarity.

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Discipline 2: Act on lead measures

Lead measures are the main activities that will take you close to your wild important goal. While discipline 1 is the discipline of focus, discipline 2 is a discipline of leverage.

Lag measures V/s lead Measures

Say for example, when you start exercising, it takes some time to lose weight i.e. there is always lag between action and results. The action that you take to lose weight (running, weight Lifting, jumping) are the lead measures and results are your lag measures.

Most of the time we focus on the lag measures i.e results. The author says we should focus more on Lead action that will drive lag results. Because when you focus more on walking and Running (lead Measures) you are likely to get a result(lag measure).

How to choose Your Lead Measures

We need to be careful while choosing lead measures. Lead measures should be predictive and influenceable.

Say, for example, your WIG is losing weight from 90 to 70 Kg. Your Lead measures should be exercise and diet ( because we can measures how many calories we consume and how many calories we burned).

There may be a question in your mind, if there are many activities that important for driving WIG then how to choose proper lead measure? When you choose the right lead measure it will create great leverage for your success.

Best quote from 4 discipline of execution
Best quote from 4 discipline of execution

Discipline 3: Keep a compelling Scoreboard

The third discipline is the discipline of engagement. In cricket or any other sports, what is one thing which keeps players as well as the audience engaged in a game? It’s a scoreboard. People play differently when they keep scoreboard.

There is big difference between playing to win the game and playing to not loose the game?

Compelling scoreboard just not motivate you to play the game but to win the game. Without a compelling scoreboard, you will lose focus on lead measures in a daily whirlwind.

Characteristics of a compelling players scoreboard

1) It should be simple :- Scoreboard should be simple, understandable. It should only include main data.

2) Easily visible :- It should be easily visible, so that anyone can tell you are winning or losing.

3)Show lead and lag measures:– Your scoreboard must show lead and lag measures so that when you see lead measures moving lag measures it will create engagement.

4)It must tell at a glance if I’m winning? :- It could tell you within five seconds you are winning or losing. If it can’t then it’s not a scoreboard it’s an only database.

When you see your moving scoreboard it will boost your engagement as well as motivation.

Discipline 4: Create a cadence of accountability

Discipline 1, discipline 2 and discipline 3 will help you to set a game but until you apply 4th discipline you are actually not in the game. The cadence of accountability is taking responsibility for your wins and losses.

Every week review your last week’s work, see the scoreboard and decide next weeks work move lead measures. When you follow discipline 4 by creating a cadence of accountability you establish a rhythm.

Conclusion: 4 Disciplines of Execution Summary

Finally, 4 Disciplines of execution are deciding a WIG, finding lead measures and lag measures, creating a scoreboard and taking responsibility. You can apply this 4DX to your own life, your team, organizations, etc.

With this, we come to the end of The 4 Disciplines Of Execution Summary. I recommend you to explore more through the book. Happy Reading.

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Omkar Mirajgave

Omkar Mirajgave

Omkar Mirajgave is the founder of He is an avid book reader. After reading 100+ book summaries and 80+ books, he realized book summaries can help him choose better books. He writes about interesting book summaries, reading tips, the best books to read, and everything related to books!